It’ll be dark blue and white for Mechanicsburg’s Jeff Lougee.
The freshman announced his commitment to the Duke Blue Devils, an NCAA Division I school in the Atlantic Coast Conference, during the seventh inning of the Perfect Game Select Premier 14U Baseball Festival in Oklahoma City during Labor Day weekend in front of a live broadcast.
Lougee, a 5-foot-11 freshman, said he was given the option to announce his decision during the broadcast and felt it was a “great option” for him.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” Lougee said about his commitment to Duke. “It has great academics, Top 10 in the nation, and has a great baseball program as well. And I have a great relationship with the coaches.”
I am extremely excited to announce I have committed to Duke University to further my academic and baseball career. A huge thank you to everyone that has helped me on this journey. @DukeBASE @TEAMELITENATION @GoMechanicsburg @JBrownPG @PGSelectFest #bluecollar pic.twitter.com/aVOtdXqvUh— Jeff Lougee (@JeffLougee) September 6, 2020
Coached by Chris Pollard, Duke went 12-4 overall in the spring before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.
Lougee, whose father, Tony, coached Mechanicsburg boys and girls soccer for several years, said Clemson was the only other school to offer him scholarship money so far, but he said Duke was the better option for him in the end.
“It was a hard decision,” Lougee said. “[Both] schools were amazing to me, and it took a lot of time with me talking to my family, and eventually I made the decision that I felt was right.”
Only a freshman, Lougee said it felt like the right time for him to make his decision — especially after talking for a while with his family and the Duke baseball coaches.
“I know that I had a great relationship with the coaching staff, and I knew it was time for me,” he said. “After a ton of time talking to them and I felt like they were the right school, I didn’t hesitate to make my decision even though I am only a freshman.”
Lougee spent his time over the summer with the Team Elite travel team, based out of Winder, Georgia, travelling to places like Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Florida. His Labor Day weekend ended with three walks and a pair of stolen bases for the winning East team during the Baseball Festival.
Lougee already has a major in mind for when he hits the college circuit. Citing that his favorite subject is mathematics, Lougee is considering a degree in economics.
But, for now, Lougee can focus on suiting up for the high school team for the first time next spring. He’ll join names like senior shortstop Josh Jamiolkowski (a George Mason recruit), senior pitcher Harry Fegan, senior outfielder Taylor Shearer and junior third baseman Dylan Hellam. He doesn’t have any predictions for what his first season might hold, but he does have an idea of what he wants out of it.
“I just want to go into the high school, help out the team as much as I can and play the best that I can,” Lougee said.
Email Mallory Merda at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @MalloryMerda
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